[Narnia Content Note: Genocide, Religious Abuse, Chivalry, Racism, Slavery]
Narnia Recap: In the last movie installment, Eustace become a dragon.
Voyage of the Dawn Treader, 1:08:00 - 1:34:00
Two parts left of this movie, and this part is ALL DRAGON.
But first we start out with more mermaids or water-elementals or whatever, which is nice, only this time instead of waving happily to the ship, they're trying to warn it away from the EVIL ISLAND which is also nice because it's kind of like people in Narnia can be sensible and can look out for each other. Who knew?
Then everything sort of falls to pieces when the sailors say they want to eat dragon-Eustace because they are hungry. I remind you that this is a world in which sentient Talking Animals are both a thing and crewmembers on this ship. And, I mean, they sound kinda serious about it and it's all played off as "well, everyone is really hungry" and just...WOW it is creepy.
Anyway, the only semi-good thing about this scene is that Eustace starts towing the ship so that they get to Ramandu's island and food and so forth, and also it is super sweet to see Reepicheep riding Eustace as he flies and being amazingly sweet and encouraging. (YES. BUDDIES FOREVER.) But it is kinda tainted by the fact that they were talking about eating Eustace oh my god. I seriously do not know what the writers were thinking.
They hit Ramandu's island and they don't have the seven swords--ON NOES--but they do have six swords and it turns out that is close enough to bring down the Blue Star who has a name, Liliandil. And I am delight at this because, and I mean this in a very caring way, we did not need any more old men in this movie. Then Lily delivers all the exposition, which feels a little redundant because we got a lot of this from Coriakin, but hey, I'm not complaining. Neither is Caspian or Edmund who are both giving her all the doe-eyes.
The less good part of Lily's exposition dump is that she goes all ableism and talks about how the Lost Lords had to be eternal slumbered for their own good because they were "half-mad" and therefore totes violent and yeeeeeeeeeeah no. I mean, I get that the filmmakers were stuck with Lewis' ridiculous "three lords sleeping at a table to wrap everything up right quick" storyline, but adding a heaping helping of CRAHYZEE PEOPLE ARE VIOLENT to the mix does not actually make that better.
Then we're off to the island of nightmares, which--because this is an American movie--is gonna deliver way better* than some creepy crawly sounds. There will be right honorable monsters in there, dangit.
* For ymmv definitions of "better".
But first, some "prepping for battle" scenes. Lucy gets her archer gear on and Gael tells her "when I grow up, I want to be just like you" and Lucy hugs her and says, no, "when you grow up, you should be just like you" and look at that really sweet closure to the beauty spell arc, made all the sweeter by he fact that the book closed it by weakening a friendship while the movie closes by strengthening one. Such a great contrast.
Then the most adorable thing. Eustace freaks out and flies away from the scary island, and how can you blame him, and Reep is giving him the sweetest pep talk: "I am a mouse! You are a dragon! Come on, let's meet our destiny!" It is so adorbs. Like, this scene. It is all the scenes. I want to hug everything involved in the making of Reepicheep and Eustace, being all brave and amazing.
Ahem. Into the SCARY EVIL MIST. Caspian's fears are of being insufficiently kingy and of making his better-king-dad disappointed in him. (Also, randomly, Gael's mom finally gets a name--Helaine--so there goes IMDB making me a liar again.) But it's super nice to see a Caspian who worries that he might not shit rainbows? And wants to be a better king than what he is right now? I'm on board with that.
Then we have more White Witch ickyness. It's...not gonna lie, still very squick. She offers to make Edmund her king and let him rule and then says that she'll always be alive in his mind and why has Aslan not gotten these children counseling. Worse. Jesus-Avatar. Ever.
Lord Rhoop shows up and is a big bag of annoying, but he's had a shitty however-long-he's-been-here and is therefore allowed up to a point, mmkay? Eustace picks him up and plops him in the boat, which is all the hilarious. Then Rhoop does the whole "your mind makes it real" thing which of course makes everyone think of fearful things and now we get the Sea Serpent. Eustace fights the Sea Serpent and is awesome and epic and perfect and then what-the-fuck, Rhoop throws the magic sword into Eustace's shoulder. Jackass. Okay? You just sailed past that point I allowed you.
I mean, really, here Rhoop demonstrates that you can go on a quest to save the world, holding onto your MacGuffin the whole time, not even losing it when you're stuck on a rock in the middle of the ocean trying not to fall off, and yet still throw the sword away at the first provocation. I don't even with you, Rhoop. You go sit quietly in the captain's cabin and think about what you've done.
Anyway. Couple of things happen.
One is a VERY BIG BATTLE with the Sea Serpent while a choir group goes wild with ominous chanting. I kept expecting Damien to show up riding the Sea Serpent or something and we must here pause to consider how much better Lewis' theologies would have been with Ominous Latin Chanting.
Two is that Aslan heals Eustace and it is infinitely better than in the book. There's still some scratching and some roaring, but it's a lot more tentative and comes off more like Aslan doesn't really have a choice but to do it this way as opposed to some kind of theologies lesson. And now the following things happen:
1. Eustace is a boy again.
2. Eustace has the final magic sword (on account of it being in his shoulder a minute ago).
3. Eustace is on the island where the magic swords go on the magic table.
YES. YES. EUSTACE SAVES NARNIA. The whole world of Narnia and Eustace saved it. Take that C.S. Lewis! *theologies end-zone victory dance*
Although, UGH, the White Witch has to show up one last time telling Edmund that she can "make him a man" and begging for him to "give in" and HOLY FUCK movie, STOP IT. That is creepy, abusive, rapey stuff not made even remotely better by the fact that whatever age Edmund is supposed to be, he is still underage. Gack.
Next time: Something-something-something twenty minutes of finishing everything up.